Status:Closed    Asked:May 16, 2016 - 03:56 PM

Weighted N for Federal Government Workers Subsample is Bigger than that Group's Population (using IPUMS-USA 2014)

I am using the 1-year 2014 ACS data. I have taken a subsample where I only keep Federal Government Employees (CLASSWKRD==25). The weighted sample size using PERWT is over 5 million, and I get the same with the online data analyzer. According to OPM (, there were approximately 4,185,000 Federal Government Employees in 2014.

I assume this discrepancy is due to the sample weights not being intended to sum correctly to the population estimates for class of worker categories (unlike how a single state subsample would have the correct weighted N). Is that correct? Is there something that I should do to correct this discrepancy?

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Staff Answer




Keep in mind that CLASSWKRD differs from the OPM table you cite in at least two important ways. First, employees of foreign governments, the United Nations, and other international organizations were instructed to select the box for "a Federal government employee." Second, persons without a current job, but who had worked within the past 5 years, are included in CLASSWKR. Their response is based on their most recent job, which may not have been in 2014.

Hope this helps.


May 17, 2016 - 03:14 PM

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